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tv   John Mc Laughlins One on One  WHUT  April 16, 2013 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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disney educational toys to apple computers and fujifilms. does this commercialization obscure or worse demean einstein's legacy? we'll review einstein's life and put that question to einstein experts alice and bert. captions by: caption colorado, llc (800) 775-7838 e- mail:
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♪[music] ♪ welcome. >> thank you. >> we are celebrating the 100th@anniversary, the albert burst of scientific discovery. what is it exactly that we are saluting? i k you, dr. robert shulman? >> we're lebrating this incredib burst of creativity that he showed in 1905. wealso are celebrating the
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fact that he, in essence, came from nowhe"e and put his stamp on 20th century physics, in this, a humble patent clerk is an achievement that is probably unparallel certainly in this 20th century. >> he becamea celebrity scien$ist and an icon, and he has affected the popular culture. can you tell us about that,@ >> he became an icon i think not until 1919 after his general theory of relativity was proven to be correct by some british astronomers and he gained worldwide fameright after that. and -- >> so the scientific legacy is really the genesis of all the re? >> is that correct? and he was very outspoken lar on, on potical situations and social situations with the state of
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israel. >> what was remarkable about einstein's scientific discovery? was it method as well as >> it was a matter of method. i mean, one thg thank's fascinating about him is at that time when he made his scoveries, he was, as i said befo, a humblepat earnt clerk. working four hours on his was patent application and@fou" hours on his work that he came out with in 1905. the other theory is he he was working on it eight hours a day@ under the table. it's unclear, both of those of legends. but the method, one thing that we've lea"ned from the love let$ers is that he was well aware of the literature, read l of the primary sou"ces from contemporary and so in one@ sense he comes from nowhere and on the other hand he's someone who is wl versed in the
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physics of the day. >> this is one of the volumes you were able to produce. tell us about this. >> this is volume ven@which covers the period from the -- of the first world war. these are s pars, so the series that we worked on is two series, writings and corresndence. this is the -- these are the writings. this is also the critical period where stops stewing or where he not only does science but also does political work.@ >> i don't see any footnotes in his original drafts of his forma. footnotes. he had no -- he dealt in pure thought,that right? >> well, did he do foottes but one of the spectacular things about the@1905 paper, the most famous moving bodies, it has most no equations. the initial period of einstein's creativity has@a heavy fill so thetical basis so
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when you say it's pure thought that really rings true because it is not -- ere is no elaborate mathematical system to it or mathematical structure to it. >> he wrote a painer in 1905 that dealt with light waves, and he discovered that light waves are really particles and that light waves curve. and that had an impact, did it not, on quantum physics. >> so they say. and it had an impact on ape lot of technology that's be invented since then. >> and his paper on relativity blew isaac newton out of the water in isaac newton's, what, 200 year acceptance of his formula with regardto weight and space and light, gravi$y? >> that really applies more to general relativity, so i mean blowing newton out of the water
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as the "new york times" said heaven's all askew. einstein surpasses newton. that really is for the general relativitywhich is papers that he did at the end of 1915, 1916. moving bodies, his specl theory of relativity establishes the equivalence of mass and energy. this is the famous e equals mc squared equati that later is falsely claimed to make him the father of the atomic bomb. >> e stands for energy,@m stands for mass. the small c a. >> speed of light. >> a term of science. the c itself is the speed of light and you square the speed of light and then matter and matter becomes interchangeable with -- >> eney. >> with energy. >> yes. >> and this of course is at a
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very sic level the sec"et to the atomic bomb. , of course, rejected with i@ think complely correctly rejected the idea that he had pa trntty of the atomic bomb. hehad nothing to do with that p"ogram, but he did come up with the equation and soaked in. >> that isn't quite true, though,it? >> he could not see what the equation produced. >> he wrote a letter to roosevelt and said that uranium is susceptible to the atomic power in so many words. th could be done by others. that was suggested in a letter, correct? and that led@rooselt to form a@committee. that committee would then assemble in the manhattan project. now as i read einstein, he's very careful to say i didn't do any of at.
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he didn't. he wasn't involved in the project directly but he planted the seeds in roosevelt to get with it and get on with atom power for military use because others were gonna do it. >> he was afraid -- >> isn't that true? >> yes. >> he was afraid the germans might be able to develop a weon, but i don't think he knew exactly what kind of a@ >> one thing he did not understand and he says that. he did not understand the chain reaction. chain reaction was brought into being bythe four scientists who werewho? >> talking abt oppenheimer, salard. this was then transferred to los alamos. >> the original four were fermie, text ellah and they form roosevelt's committee. then they participated with oppenheimer, did the9 not on the manhattan project? >> certainly salard did not. risk. was considered a security
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so he was kept out@of los alamos. feramie was heavily involved. if i could@just say one thing about what you just said, the committee that was formed after einstein wrote the letter in august of 39 had the so-cled lyman briggs committee had a very unhappy existence. the americans really only pickedup on the atomic bomb research after the british and the tube alloy program in england, shortly before pearl harbor suggesd the nuclear at that point, the american program really took fire. >> to elaborate a little bit more on what einstein said about this, this is from your book, recordable einstein. great volume, by the way. >> thank you. a lot of surprising material in here as to an indication of the range -- asyou pointed out. was a multi-disciplinarian.
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he was not in the narrow boards situation that scientists are in today where they bore down and down in a relatively small area. he was able to interrelate. he was able to connect. he saw -] huh? >> he saw the connections. >> this is what you quote him as saying. "i do not conside" myself the father of the release. my father was quite indirect. i did not in fact foresee that it would be released in my lifetime. i beeve@only that it was theoretically poible. it became practical only through the accidental discovery of a chain reaction. this was not something i could have predicted." >> yeah. >> it's a chain reaction that he didn't see. but he saw the atomic power was therep. >> he saw the possibilities of that, yes, and this is why wanted to warn roosevelt. he he was afraid the germans would develop the bomb and then e united states would have no way of defending itself.
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>> did roosevelt have him in for dinner? >> he had him to the white house, yeah. >> he was at the white house, not on that occasion. >> with wives? >> yes. it was soon after he came in 1933 and elsa was with him. >> wasn't there an invitation that ein sign that who? so he wouldn't go to the white house? >> yeah. >> why wouldn't he want him to go to the white house? einstein like a mother hen? r >> was it as simple as that? >> no. >> no? >> i think it was also he's afraid of einstein'sne of the things that we admire so much about him that he spoke his mine. i think flecksner was worried about that, also. >> so he's not the father of the atomic bomb? i think one thing that should be made clear -- >> was he the catalyst of the atomic bomb? >> he really didn't know much about nuclear physics. he didn't know much about the
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subatomic particles. >> he discovered them. >> no, he discovered the at tom. he discovered the mechanics of the at tom. >> and lecules. >> that's right. but i@mean, that's a completely different channel to -- >> u mean level of discovery? >> yes. yes. >> than what was involved than the actual proction of the bomb? >> we're not even sure that he knew in 1932 when koffroff discovered the pro ton athe he was aware of that. >> so he was a commanding geus and there's been no equal to him over the course of the entire century. that safe to say? you think he is f5lly appreciated for what he was? what he was? >> what he was? yes. appreciated today? sfully do you think if you asked students today why is einstein
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important they're not gonna tell you it's because of his image that i see on fuji film? >> i@think many understand what he's famous for and what his physics has meant to scientists and engineers since we made his discove"y. >> are we not seeing an einstein reappraisal that is far reaching? einstein seminars around the world? a seminal figure for science and advance of our technology? from him you get some say even the computer. you get a whole series of imputed involvements of einstein, satellites, lasers, photocopies, television,@ telecommunication, nuclear power, true? >> i think tha$ in part einstein's image has overwhelmed the@person, and it's something that i think he would be very unhappy about. >> is there a reappraisal of
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great significance going on worldwide about einstein's accompliments and his genius? >> certainly with spect to cosmology. so these kinds of things -- >> you talkg astrophysics here? >> i'm not talking it, i'm@ descring it. >> you mean on the impact of this on what? on the universe? >> yes. >> so i mean, less so i think that the re appraisal of his contributions to technology than it@is that he may have been right about certain phenomenon where the mizzickists are still working on a general of everything, einsin's news are coming into new scrutiny. >> you'retalking g"avity, space and time? >> yes. >> is there any harm done by the marketing of einstein's image of automobiles, computers, mineral ter,
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neckties, mugs, t-shirts, even action figures? einstein himself deplored the use of his image as a commercial endorsement. but we'll put that question to our guests. first,however, here is an es sceeth on albert einstein. born 1879, germany. the earliest known photograph of einstein believed to have been taken in munich in the 1880s. einstein's father herman, einstein's mother pauline koch. einstein and his sister are maya about 1893. einstein at the age of 17. einstein in the classroom in switzerland, his teacher. toward the end of the 19th century. einstein at the swiss patent office burned in the early 1900s. einstein and his first wife taken in 1911 when both were in
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their early 30s. einstein and his wife meleva and their son hans albert, 1904. einstein and max plank, the originator of the quantum theory which played a key part in the development of einstein's theories. einstein and his second wife elsa. einstein in middle age as director of the keyser wilhelm institute,erlin. einstein on the cover of berlina, december 14, 1919. a new great figure in world history. einstein in winston churchill on the grounds of country home 1933. einstein on the day following his arrival at princeton institute of advanced studies, october 1933. signing the letter to franklin delano roosevelt, a reconstructed set piece photo
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of the 1939 warning to president roosevelt from einstein about the dangerous possibilities of others developing nuclear weapons. einstein and his wife elsa in pasadena during one of his visits to the california institute of technology. in 1945, almost overnight, einstein became the conscience of the world. he wrote, spoke and broadcast throughout the last ten years of his life. einstein and several famous american physicists gathered in princeton, new jersey to launch an appeal for $1 million to educate americans on implications of nuclear fission. portrait of albert einstein, 1879 to 1955. 76 years of age. that's a lot in those photographs that we can cue off and discuss, but before we do that,@did einstein make any commercial endorsements to allow his likeness to be used
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for marketing purposesthat you are aware of? alice? by the way, alice, i should point out that you've done the quotable einstein? you also have a volume here of albert einstein's letrs to and from children. tell us about that a little bit. >> well, it's a collection of letters that children had written to einstein. there are about 50 or 60 lette"s on all kinds of topics. they also included e answers to some of the letters. he wasn't able to answer all of the letters. some of them are fairly trivial and requi"e no answer, but he did his best. >> you also produced the einstein almanac which goes year by year right up to 1955, is that correct? >> yes. >> and you also point out in 1955 early in the year russell approached einstein asking him to issue a joint statement declaring that a nuclear war there there would be no winners or losers, only a permanent
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state of catastrophe. signed april 11 and returned it to russell. with it, he sent a short letter. you speak to that? i ask you, robert. >> well, the -- this was seven days before he died. i think he died before the letter reached russell. this then became the touch stone for the pugwash conferences to control internationally the use of nuclear weapons. >> you mean, to put the genie back in the bottle? >> less to put the nie back in the bottle than to control the genie. well, put it back into the bottle. >> that didn't work, did it? >> no, there are still discussions of giving up some naonal sovereignty. this was something that was very suspect for a lot of people, but that was the gist of his id. >> if roosevelt hadn't gotten into the act here there would be no atomic bomb. there would be no atomic bomb in the second world war.
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>> we now have a new book in germany which suggts that the germans not only aiseerg was working but other groups within the german high comantd were working. so it's conceivable that that which einstein fea"ed, the development by the geans that a nuclear weapon might have happen. >> can you account for the extreme distaste einstein felt for his countrymen, he being german himself? hereally disliked the germans. why? >> well, he disliked them mainly beuse oftheir author therien d military ntality, especially when he was growing up as a child dung the time of business park and keyser wilhelm ii. and he was such an independent minded and free-spirited boy at he he found such authority
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pressing to him. >> have they despite the fact this einstein disliked the germans for the reasons have theyembraced them? i went to berlin and the streets that the book indicates that he was -- that he lived on is not accurate. the streets were changed. i finally found where he lived. he lived in an apartment house and that's a park outside inditing he lived there. it was not easy to get to. is he now being hidd? >> quite the contrary. >> qui$e the contrary? >> if i could disagree with my colleague a bit, einstein was very favorable to germany until the nazis came to power. that is to say he certainly i@ had writes -- >> what he writes about his school year's written in 1955 seen throughoutprism already of what the nazis have done. >> he feared the third reich,that right? >> he not only feared it, he wrote many appeals then during the war sayi that e germans
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had descended to a level. >> don't you think this really goes a litt beyond thatjust the third reich? >> it's the elimination what's now called the holocaust, which@ was then the genocide against the jews. >> isn't there something else about the german psyche, the german temperament? is it because he experienced what, a extremely disciplined childhd? >> i mean, i really don't think -- >> d e holocaust. >> his childhood was a rather pleasant one. he does say of course there was a peculiar antisemitism in the -- that this didn't bother him that much. that is the period of the eing nazi rule that completely disenchanted him. >> on the marketing of the
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genius einstein, he sets the stage himself for the commercialization of his image when he bequeathed his papers to the hebrew universit9 of jerusalem because the hebrew university of jerusalem now engages a beverly hills licensing agency run attorney robert richmond to sell the rights to the use of einstein's image. the proceeds go to the university. am i right on that? >> yes. >> now, despite the fact that einstein himself had this to say about commercial endorsements. "it is -- is it not a sad meantair commentary on the commercialition and i must add the corruption of our time that business firms make these offers with wanting to insult me? it evident i had means this
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corruption itis, is widespread." that makes it clear that he didn't want his name used on any products, correct? >> he did not in his lifetime. i guess he @@had no control. >> he wanted to give it to the university, p"obly the central thing in his life. i don't think he imagined in his wildest dreams that it would turn into a corn that cope yaof endorsements. >> do you think hebrew university in jerusalem is >> i thk they are, shall i say, capitalizing on it. i einstein's image to be ing commercialized?@ >>pparently, they ha the right to do it if they want to. >> you think they have it in the light of what einstein himself said about the corruptionnvolved, the commercial endorsements? specify, i think that they
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cannot do this, and i don't think he foresaw that ey would actually do this and fire an agencyto sell his image. >> is there any harm done by the marketing of einstein's image? >> i@think that einsin is untouchable in e sense at his true commit -- true acevements both in physics and in the political sphere are safe from this kind of comearblization. in a wa9, he towers so far above the commercialization tha$ i dot ink that it -- >> is itlike the branding of any corporate image that's hammered into the american psyche in this particular instance that popular culture takes over and soon the image replaces the reality behind it. >> that's probably true. >> is thatdeplorable? >> in some ways it is, yeah.
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>> sorry.@ >> on the other hand it also keeps his work alive and his contribution. einstein married >> he was married twice and each time for 17 years. >> what happened dung those@ marriages? d he have any additional liaisons? >> not during his fit marriage until he met the -- or he reacquainted himself with his cousin elsa. >> we haven't really discussed that. we haven't diussed einstein the man. we'll do that in part two of this program.
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>> charlie: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a breaking news story from boston where there are explosions near the finish line of the boston marathon that resulted in the death of at least two people with many others injured. here is the he can ploation captured by cameras at the scene.